What You’ll Be Creating

Love
icon design? If so, follow this tutorial and learn how to make a
minimal purchase icon in three different versions. We will use only
basic shapes, and with the help of the Align options and the
Pathfinder options, we will build these icons step by step. By the
end of this tutorial, you will be able to apply these techniques to
create other types of icons.

A
minimal icon is characterized by:

  • Simplicity: minimum of shapes and elements
  • Clarity: icons should be understandable in a single glance
  • Scaling: icons should maintain sharpness and clarity at any size,
    especially when scaled very small
  • Excludes: complex colors, gradients, textures, and shadows

If
you are hungry for more icon design, head over to GraphicRiver and
you will be able to find a multitude of vector icons in different
styles, shapes, and categories.

Tutorial
Assets

To
complete the tutorial, you will need the following assets:

1. How
to Open a New Document 

Launch
Illustrator
and
go to
File
> New
to
open a blank document. Type a name for your file, set up the
dimensions, and then select
Pixels
as
Units
and
RGB
as
Color
Mode
.

Next,
go to
Edit
> Preferences > General
and
set the
Keyboard
Increment
to
1
px
and
while there, go to
Units
to
make sure they are set as in the following image. I usually work with
these settings, and they will help you throughout the drawing process. 

2. How
to Set Up the Reference Grid

Step
1

Go
to Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid and type 10 px in the
Gridline every field and 10 in the Subdivisions field. This will
create a grid line every pixel in your document.

Step
2

Under
the View menu, make sure to check Show Grid to make it visible, and
also keep Snap to Grid and Snap to Point checked.

Step
3

Grab
the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a 200 x 182 px rectangle. Align its
corner with the grid; then go to Object > Artboards > Convert
to Artboards
. This will define a new small artboard inside your
document which is the size of our icon.

3. How
to Create the “Dollar Sign” Purchase Icon

The first icon is composed of a minimal cart icon and a dollar sign symbol, and we will go through the process of creating it path by path.

Step
1

Grab
the Line Segment Tool (), click on your artboard, and draw a 26 px
path at a 0 degree Angle. Give it a 14 pt Stroke and press the Round
Cap
option in the Stroke panel to obtain the rounded ends.

While
the path stays selected, go to the Align panel and make sure that
Align to Artboard is selected. Now, press Horizontal Align Left
followed by Vertical Align Top. The path will jump to the top left
corner of your artboard.

Step
2

To
position the first path inside the artboard where we need it, go to
Object > Transform > Move and type 7 px in both the Horizontal and
Vertical fields. Hit OK.

Step
3

Grab
the Line Segment Tool () again, click on your artboard, and draw a
134 px path at a 108 degree Angle. Give it a 14 pt Stroke and select
the Round Cap option in the Stroke panel. Grab it with the Direct
Selection Tool (A)
and align its top point with the end point of the
first path.

Step
4

Use the Line Segment Tool () to draw a new path 35 px in length.
Apply the same appearances as the first two paths. In the
Align panel, press Vertical Align Top followed by Horizontal Align
Right
to position it in the top right corner of the artboard.

While
the path stays selected, go to Object > Transform > Move and
type -7 px in the Horizontal field and 34 px in the Vertical field.
Hit OK.

Step
5

Take
the Line Segment Tool () again and draw an 80 px path at a 72
degrees Angle
. Apply the same appearances to it; then grab it with
the Direct Selection Tool (A) and align its top point with the end
point of the previous path.

Step
6

Draw
the next path with 100 px length and apply the same appearances.
Align its right point with the end point of the previous path.

Step
7

Now,
select the path shown below and then Copy and
Paste
in Front (Control-F)

to make a copy of it. Move it to the left along the grid lines using
the Left Arrow key on your keyboard.

Step
8

It’s
time to create the wheels of the cart. Grab the Ellipse Tool (L) and
draw a 52 x 52 px circle, and press the Vertical Align Bottom in the
Align panel to make sure it stays at the bottom of the artboard.
Align the center of the circle with the end point of the path above
it (you can use a Guide line to make this job easier).

Copy
and
Paste
in Front (Control-F)

this circle and move it to the left to obtain the second wheel.

Step
9

Keep
the first wheel selected and go to Object > Transform > Scale.
Type 45% in the Uniform Scale field and hit Copy. This will create a
smaller circle inside. Repeat the same thing for the other wheel.

Now,
select the first wheel again, along with the smaller circle on top of
it, and press Minus Front in the Pathfinder panel. This will create a
hole inside the wheel. Repeat the same thing for the second wheel.

Step
10

Use
the Line Segment Tool () to draw a 90 px path and apply the same
appearances. Use the grid to arrange it between the wheels.

Step
11

Next,
take the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw an 84 x 84 px circle. Press Horizontal Align Right followed by Vertical Align Top to position
this shape in the top right corner of the artboard. Use the grid to
move it a little to the left by one division (10 subdivisions).

Step
12

Let’s continue the icon design with the dollar sign symbol. Grab
the Type Tool (T) and write the letter “S” inside the circle
using the Poppins Thin Font, size of 72 pt. The fill color is not
important. Also, give it a 6 pt Stroke and press the Round Cap and
Round Join in the Stroke panel using the same color. This will make
the letter thicker and rounded at the ends.

Next,
draw a vertical path about 54 px in length and position it
in the center of the letter “S” to obtain the dollar sign.
Give it a 6 pt Stroke and press the Round Cap option in the Stroke
panel.

Step
13

Use
the Line Segment Tool () to draw a new path 120 px in length
at a 0 degree Angle. Give it a 12 pt Stroke, move it to the center of
the cart, and send it behind the circle.

Step
14

Select
the dollar sign and go to Object > Expand twice in order to expand
the text and the stroke applied. Press Unite in the Pathfinder panel
to merge them into a single shape (1).

Now,
select the dollar shape along with the circle and press Minus Front
in the Pathfinder panel to subtract it from the circle (2).

Before
you continue and before you expand the paths, make two copies of the
entire icon for later use.

Step
15

Select
all the stroked paths that make up the cart and go to Object >
Expand
to turn them into filled shapes. At this point, we need to make
a few small adjustments. Use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select
only the three points indicated (1) and move them to the right by
pressing the Right Arrow key on your keyboard until you can’t see the
blue shape inside the dollar sign (2).

Do
the same thing at the bottom of the dollar sign and distort the blue
shape by adding three extra points with the Add Anchor Point Tool
(+)
. With the help of the Direct Selection Tool (A), move the point in
the middle downwards until you can’t see the blue shape inside the
dollar sign (3).

Step
16

At
this point, the “Dollar Sign” purchase icon is ready. You can
select all the shapes and press Unite in the Pathfinder panel
followed by Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8) to merge
everything into a single compound path.

This
step is optional. You can keep the shapes separate and fill them with
different colors that you prefer.

4. How
to Create the “Plus Sign” Purchase Icon

The second icon is composed of a minimal cart icon as well, but we will change the style a little and add a plus sign symbol.

Step
1

Draw
a new 200 x 182 px rectangle with the Rectangle Tool (M) and go to
Object > Artboards > Convert to Artboards
in order to define a
new artboard inside your document. Now, grab the copy of the “Dollar
Sign
” purchase icon made earlier in the tutorial and Group
(Control-G)
all the shapes. Press Horizontal Align Center and
Vertical Align Center in the Align panel to make sure the icon stays
inside the new artboard (1).

Use
the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select only the point indicated, and
move it to the right to remove the empty space up to the circle (2).
Next, take the Pen Tool (P) and draw a shape as shown in the image below
to cover the bottom of the cart (3).

Step
2

Select
all the stroked paths that make up the icon and go to Object
> Expand
to turn them into filled shapes (1). Now, select all the
blue shapes that make up the icon (without the circle) and press Unite in
the Pathfinder panel followed by Object > Compound Path > Make
(Control-8)
to merge them into a single compound path (2).

Step
3

Now,
focus on the circle. Keep it selected and press Horizontal Align
Right
followed by Vertical Align Top to position the circle in the
top right corner of the artboard (1). Besides the pink fill, also
apply an 8 pt Stroke and press the Align Stroke to Outside option in
the Stroke panel. Add a New Stroke at the top and select a 12 pt
Stroke
, and this time, choose the Align Stroke to Inside option in the
Stroke panel. The colors are not important at the moment (2).

With
the circle still selected, go to Object > Expand Appearance
followed by Ungroup (Shift-Control-G) to get the individual ring
shapes (3).

Step
4

Delete
the pink circle because you don’t need it. Select the bigger ring
shape (green), go to Object > Compound Path > Release, and you
will get two green circles. Delete the smaller one and keep the
bigger one (2).

Now,
select the cart compound path along with the green circle and press
Minus Front
in the Pathfinder panel to subtract it from the cart (3).

Step
5

Let’s complete the icon design with the plus sign symbol. Use the Line Segment Tool () to create a
vertical path (1) and a horizontal path 34 px in length (2).
Give them both a 12 pt Stroke and select the Round Cap option in the
Stroke panel to obtain the rounded ends.

While
both paths stay selected, go to Object > Expand to turn them into
filled shapes and then press Unite in the Pathfinder panel (3).

Step
6

At
this point, the “Plus Sign” purchase icon is ready. You can select
all the shapes that compose it and press Unite in the Pathfinder
panel followed by Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8) to
obtain a single compound path.

This
step is optional. You can keep the shapes separate and fill them with
different colors that you prefer.

5. How
to Create the “Arrow Sign” Purchase Icon

The last icon is composed of the same minimal cart icon, but we will make an arrow sign symbol to complete the design.

Step
1

Draw
a new 200 x 182 px rectangle with the Rectangle Tool (M) and go to
Object > Artboards > Convert to Artboards in order to define a
third artboard inside your document. Now, grab a copy of the first purchase icon made earlier in the tutorial and align it inside your
new artboard, as you did before.

Use
the Direct Selection Tool (A) to select only the point indicated (1)
and move it to the right until you meet the other end of the cart
(2). Now, you can expand and create the cart compound path as you did for the
previous two icons (3).

Step
2

Use
the Line Segment Tool () to draw a path 66 px in length at a
90 degrees Angle
as the tail of the arrow. Arrange it at the top of
the artboard, give it a 12 pt Stroke, and select the Round Cap option
to obtain the rounded ends.

Draw
a V-like shape with the Pen Tool (P) as the head of the arrow. Give
it a 12 pt Stroke and select the Round Cap and Round Join options in
the Stroke panel (2).

Step
3

Copy
and Paste in Back (Control-B) the tail and the head paths and increase the Stroke Width to 28 pt. For visual reasons, I’ve
changed the stroke color (1).

Now,
select the black stroked paths and go to Object > Expand to turn
them into filled shapes. Press Unite in the Pathfinder panel to merge
them into a single shape (the black arrow shape). Next, Expand the two green paths and Unite them to obtain the green arrow shape (2).

Select
the chart compound path along with the green arrow shape and press
Minus Front
in the Pathfinder panel to subtract it from the cart (3).

Step
4

At
this point, the “Arrow Sign” purchase icon is ready. Select all
the shapes that compose it and press Unite in the Pathfinder panel
followed by Object > Compound Path > Make (Control-8) to obtain
a single compound path.

This
step is optional. You can keep the shapes separate and fill them
with different colors that you like.

Step
5

Here
are the three artboards inside the document 
and the three versions that we made.

Congratulations!
You’re Done

You
have successfully learned how to create three minimal purchase icons, and you can apply these techniques in future projects. 

Don’t forget to share your recreations with us in the comments section below, and also leave your questions and requests there.

Expand
Your Icon-Designing Skills!

Want to make more icons? Keep learning with these recommended tutorials:

Go to original Source
Author:

Diana Toma

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